Dreams a good way to remember loved ones

Dreams a good way to remember loved ones

With Eric Becker

The first dream I can vividly recall was when I was around six years old.  It was me and my grandpa in his old pickup truck heading to the Ponderosa (the green one) on South Grand Ave. in Springfield.

It was late at night when we went. To this day, I can remember the darkness of riding in that truck to the restaurant.

Some 35 years later, that dream still comes up in mind every once in a while when I think about my grandpa, who died 25 years ago last Thanksgiving Day.

But why the heck do we dream?

Some dreams can be remembered just like that – for example, last week I dream I was in Philadelphia and spent a few days at a luxurious hotel there. Okay.

I have had more dreams about my former place of employment in recent years. I did work five years in retail, so to have so many dreams is probably not that uncommon. But to have a dream working at a different retail store with the same employees as the one you are working at is quite strange, indeed.

Or dreaming of your retailer and you come into work one day and realize there’s a whole new part of the store that suddenly appears, with hidden caverns, rooms and even a waterfall. Whatever, dude.

Whatever the case may be, dreams come and go with or without proper merit. I try not to understand them, just try to get on with my life.

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My grandfather, affectionately known as Pa, was a great man – he died in 1991 and I still recall many memorable moments.

The saddest day of my college life was on a Sunday in November right before Thanksgiving break when my dad drove to my dorm to tell me the news that Pa had died. He had suffered a stroke months earlier and spent many weeks in the hospital. He had just returned home. It was just more shocking than anything.

My grandpa owned various motels and worked at various gas stations throughout his life. The Shady Rest Motel was the one that I remember the most. Located at the intersection of Dirksen Parkway and North Grand Ave. East in Springfield. It’s now a convenience store. Had a shed in the back. As well as a bunch of dogs locked up in kennels from another business, apparently.

I remember helping him one summer day erect a huge sign for his motel along  Dirksen Parkway on the west side of the road. The motel itself consisted of about 16 rooms plus another apartment and a cafe. My grandpa would live there at the hotel, as there was an apartment right off the main check-in area. I can still vividly remember everything about that place.

When I was with my grandma and grandpa one time, we stopped late one night for an ice cream cone during the summer while I was spending the night at their house – which was the most awesome house ever. Pa went to get ice cream cones and brought them back to the truck. Splat. He tried to hand the ice cream through the window with the window not rolled down.

It was funny. My grandma and I got a good laugh out of that one. Eventually, we did get our ice cream.

The motel itself was torn down a long time ago. But the memories of that place will continue. I recall losing a tooth eating an Dairy Queen Dilly Bar at the motel one day.

Remembering one’s grandparents is very important. I was lucky and blessed to have been around them for as long as I did. While they are all gone now, the memories come back like it was yesterday.

When you dream about them, that makes the memories you had with them become that much more meaningful.

My two kids really adore their grandparents (my parents) and my wife’s father. While we don’t see them as much as we’d like, we all realize how much we are loved when we do get together, and that’s ultimately in this life, what it’s all about.